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Nokia in 'advanced talks' to sell Vertu for €200 million

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According to a report from Financial Times today, Nokia is making progress on its bid to sell its ultra-premium cellphone subsidiary, Vertu. We first heard that the Espoo-based company retained a Goldman Sachs advisor to help it strip itself of Vertu last December, but it appears that Nokia's now much closer to striking a deal.

Vertu store (1020)
Vertu store (1020)

According to a report from Financial Times today, Nokia is making progress on its bid to sell its ultra-premium cellphone subsidiary, Vertu. We first heard that the Espoo-based company retained a Goldman Sachs advisor to help it strip itself of Vertu last December, but it appears that Nokia is now much closer to striking a deal. Unnamed sources say that Vertu's suitor is private equity group Permira, which is invested in companies like Hugo Boss. While $20,000 plus gold-plated phones might not be of much interest to the tech community, Financial Times quotes a €200 million (about $265 million) figure for the sale, citing value overseas in the brand itself — not the phones. Since Vertu is bundled with Nokia, the profitability of the unit itself isn't clear, but its annual revenue is estimated at €200 to €300 million. The paper cautions that "people familiar with the process cautioned that the outcome of the sale was not yet certain," so we certainly wouldn't call this a lock at this point. The news today comes a few days after Nokia's stock was downgraded to "junk" status by S&P.